Monthly Archives: January 2016

Close Combat Situational Modifiers For RQ6

In my quest towards perfect GM Screen for RQ6 I gathered all the close combat situational modifiers into one table. 

It now contains the usual ones (fighting in pitch black darkness, partial darkness, blinded, while prone and so on). In addition it has the shorter reach for those of you playing with Reach rules. I added also the fatigue effect on close combat skills and limitations brought by swimming, climbing or riding while fighting.  In case your players are doing a fighting retreat with the loot it contains the encumbrance modifiers as well. If for some reason the players (or even the NPC’s) need to grab a different, perhaps unfamiliar weapon to use – the table contains the modifier rules for those as well. 2016-01-31_22-21-03.png

I also updated the movement chart with colors – green for earthbound movement, blue for swimming.

The rest of the charts for RQ6 are here 

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Movement Chart for RQ6

For the future chase sequences in my campaign decided to combine all the movement effects into tables that fit into a single page. I find it easier to look info from table instead of calculating it with the rules.

It contains now a table for movement rates between 1 and 14, effect of athletics on the speed when walking, running or sprinting. It also has a table for the common modifiers for movement like encumbrance, armor and fatigue.  It has also the effects on ranged combat.

Here are the tables as PDF.

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I also added similar tables for swimming.

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Other useful tables exist for Combat Special Effects, Healing and Wounds, Diminish spell effects, weapons and shields & Criticals and difficulty grade effects on rolls.

 

 

Spotlight Cards for RQ

Read an interesting article at Dread Unicorn site about spotlight cards and hipster PDA as a player reference for GM.  The idea is to help GM to remember to let each player shine at the spotlight in the game. This can be especially problematic with larger groups at play same time. The spotlight card method gathers rough information about each player and their aspirations to an index card and at the bottom  of the card ask the question: “has the player been in spotlight already”. At the start of the game session you pick a card and make sure that person gets her spotlight in some way. You may have prepared for this beforehand already. After the spotlight moment you move the players index card to the bottom of the stack and go for next player making sure that during the session everybody gets their chance. On that page there are spotlight cards for several game systems.

I thought this was an intriguing and try to combine it here with having some reference information about the player in one card which I have been thinking about how to do for some time. Here is an example (not of any of my gamers…)

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The card contains information that might be useful for GM overall.

The proficiency is marked as in Monster Island supplement – as a rough measure: Elite would mean between 71-90% and Cannonfodder 30 or below. Proficiency progresses downwards from Elite-Veteran-Seasoned-Green-Cannonfodder. The color coding helps to see at a glance the levels: blues are elites, green is seasoned, red color is cannonfodder or green proficiency. The colors give the GM a quick indication what should be the level of challenge to come up with and what might be the weak or strong areas.

All of the spotlight cards for my players sit in my Evernote with a combined card as a shortcut that has links to all of the individual cards. I might also print out these as index cards.

I will experiment with this for awhile and will return to the subject.

Games and Contests in RQ

Here is a list of games and contests that one could enter to play within RQ. Over at the design mechanism forums there is an excellent thread which mark.s started about how to play games within RQ6. He posted there rules for drinking games like Speed Drinking and Capacity Drinking. Among games of Skill and Prowess he has rules for Gwyddbwyll, Throwboard and Boasting Contest. Physical Games have Badger in the bag, Wrestling and Fire Jumping.

In Book of Quests by The Design Mechanism there are rules for pig wrestling. Trollpak has rules for Trollball – short version can be found here. Sun County has rules for Shield Push and in Garhound Contest in Sun County we have rules for Horse Race, Joust, Wrestling, Pain Test plus a full scenario built around them in Melisande’s Hand.

Gladiatorial contests and Chariot Races are covered in Monster Coliseum.

 

 

Guest Post: How To Start Playing in Glorantha

Glorantha has so much background material that it sometimes can feel intimidating to enter. In fact it is not. Glorantha is what you make of it.
One of the true old timers among Glorantha gamers is Joerg Baumgartner. He answered a question in the Google+ Glorantha community so well that I asked him for a permission to repost it as a guest post here in Notes From Pavis. At the end of the post I will provide directions to three other earlier posts how to start with Glorantha. 
Here is his post. <updated with a new paragraph on 19 Jan, 2016>

Having fun with games or good reads is the best way to start into Glorantha. You can become the obsessed scholar if or whenever you want. Been there, done that.

Several alleys of exploration are available.

Roleplaying material for gamemasters:
Now with the classical RQ2 supplements (soon) again available (as pdfs), any one of Pavis, Borderlands, Griffin Mountain or Cults of Prax offer an introduction with a very manageable learning curve (though it has to be said that Cults of Prax contains fundamental information on how the gods and their cults work in Glorantha). These place you a bit off center for the prequel of the Hero Wars.

(It might help to put the few pages of background info on Prax in Nomad Gods onto the website, for an even earlier introduction. Or those in the Dragon Pass boardgame, unless Chris is using those in the new boardgame.)

Both the Sartar Campaign and the Pavis book for HeroQuest offer good introductions while putting you in the midst of the big action as it unfolds. Start with reading HeroQuest Glorantha, though.

I have no doubt that the upcoming RuneQuest Glorantha will see some support for introduction into Glorantha. Similar for 13th Age Glorantha, whose accompanying Glorantha setting book (free of any game constructs) probably is going to be the best introduction for playing in the early parts of the Hero Wars.

Computer Game:
King of Dragon Pass lets you play an Orlanthi clan in what becomes the kindom of – not Sartar, but your king, if you play the long game victoriously. While not creating a canonical Sartar, you learn about all the difficulties and challenges Sartar had to overcome to found his kingdom, and you will gain a good insight how Orlanthi clans interact.

And the game can be highly addictive.

Reading:
The Collected Griselda is set in Pavis and was started as a solo-playing fanfic, but it reads great and offers a very vivid insight in the machinations of the city, its occupators and the resistance. Highly recommended with either the RQ2 Pavis/Big Rubble books or the HeroQuest Pavis book.

King of Sartar is a book for people who enjoy scholarly puzzles, shock full of texts written as in-world documents. One of the major influences which hooked me on Glorantha (after reading the RQ2 Pavis material and the then much smaller Genertela gazetteer that now has been subsumed in the massive Guide).

The Guide to Glorantha is exhaustive, but for first contact with Glorantha also exhausting. Having the pdf as a look-up reference is fine, but I wouldn’t suggest to start exploration of Glorantha by trying to absorb the whole of that massive tome.

Penelope Love published a Gloranthan novel and a shorter collection of short stories via the Chaos Society (Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft e.V.) which capture a similar RQ2 flair as the Griselda stories.

Roleplaying with an experienced referee/GM/narrator

There is an abundance of conventions where you are guaranteed to find a Gloranthan game (although they might be full, in which case you might be reduced to sitting in watching other people having the fun). 2016 is going to see five conventions with Glorantha as one of their main attractions – Continuum in Leicester, England, Chimeriades in France, Eternal Con and The Kraken in Germany, and the initiative by Chris Lemens the week before Gencon in Texas. Gencon will see Glorantha games, too.

Then there are the possibilities of play-by-hangout, play-by-forum or play-by-email games, all of which can be very rewarding. Often you’ll be able to “sit in” watching other people exploring a small part of Glorantha.

Not guaranteed, but with a certain likelihood these specialized conventions may also offer Glorantha-themed freeform games, a very immersive way to experience the world.

Boardgames:
How it all began – the games White Bear and Red Moon (later editions: Dragon Pass) and Nomad Gods are about moving stacks of unit counters across a hex map. Definitely old style wargaming, with a high importance of the magic. Hard to get nowadays, but you ought to be able to find a game at one of those five conventions mentioned above.

Not there yet, but several board game options for exploring Glorantha are going to become available this year:

Chris Klug is working on putting the premise of WBRM/DP into a boardgame with a lot less administrative overhead.

Sandy Petersen’s Gods War, a game similar to Cthulhu Wars but firmly based in Glorantha, and great fun to play, is going into kickstarter within the next two months. If you play this, you’ll get a good insight how the major pantheons of Glorantha interact, and how Glorantha was almost destroyed before History started.

Also on the horizon: a boardgame by Rainer Knizia, with a Praxian theme. Not a continuation of Nomad Gods, but a eurogame.

Exchanging GM info with other GMs in adjacent areas.

I was involved in several such cooperations, such as the Wilmskirk Tribal Federation info exchange which had campaigns for all four tribes putting together their data, or the Whitewall Wiki. As a narrator I felt a lot more secure about presenting a living world by getting feedback from the other campaigns in the neighborhood, discussing scenario ideas and outcomes.

So if you want to have a review board of other Gloranthan GMs, go networking. One of the most recent technologies are private G+ groups where GMs invite interested people to have a look at their campaign and current scenarios. Even if you should get no new input to improve your campaign (an unlikely case), presenting your plans before actually playing them out will make you focus, formulate and fine-tune your ideas. You don’t have to be a GM with 20 years of Glorantha experience. Some of the people who comment or listen in are bound to be, make use of their experience.

This concludes a very nice view from an old hand to those about to enter the wonder that is Glorantha.
Here are three other earlier posts on the same subject

RQ Encounter Generator Creates Lycanthropes in Glorantha

I was reading the RQ2 rulebook electronic version that I received as part of the Kickstarter and noticed that I had missed many of the lycanthropes in the RQ Encounter Generator. Did a bit of search and found that Sandy had done a nice piece on Lycanthropes in Glorantha (I thought it was in Forgotten Secrets of Glorantha but on re-checking cannot find where the original source is) so decided to add all of those

According to Sandy – were jackals do not have a tribe associated with them anymore. All others are Hsunchen

There are other were folk in Glorantha but these are now described.

 

Old School is back: RQ Classic Fantasy Is Soon Here with Rust Monster and friends

RQ6 Classic Fantasy is close to being published. Got a glimpse of things in store at the yahoo group for Classic Fantasy and Rod encouraged me to create a couple of the monsters for RQ Encounter Generator that the Classic Fantasy is going to contain.

Here is the number one hated monster from ye golden days of adventuring – GM’s best friend : the Rust Monster

There was also a very nice Mimic there as well as its more dangerous brother the Killer Mimic.   The full descriptions of these are available in the above yahoo group.

You will find these and more in future with the tag “Classic Fantasy” in the RQ Encounter Generator. This Runequest 6 supplement promises to be lots of fun for all old school GM’s.